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|Mark and Mandy
Tunnocks Tea Cake Review
We stumbled onto your site today whilst trying to settle an arguement that arose at Morning Tea this morning. Morning Tea is a regular event down here. Not every morning, but little excuse is needed to set one up. Births, retirements, small wins on the lottery, remembering the Queens Birthday etc all qualify as events worthy of a Morning Tea. The formality of Morning Tea can vary considerably but, as a general rule, if people are Standing Up rather than Sitting Down then the event is considered as formal. Indeed, there may even be a "Speech". A short speech appropriate for a Formal retirement Morning Tea might be "Thank you". A longer one might be "Thank you very much". If it is a Sitting Down Morning Tea then any attempt to make a speech would be considered rude. If there is no acceptable reason for having a Morning Tea then colleagues generally have to make their own arrangements to have tea in the morning. But the provision of biscuits and Lamingtons under such circumstances is usually woefully inadequate.
Our arguement was based around trying to establish the identity of a confection consisting of a small circular biscuit base, topped with a dome of marshmallow, the whole being covered in chocolate. Some think there may have been a layer of jam between the biscuit and the marshmallow. I'm not so certain about the jam, but, as we probably had supermarket "own brand" inferior copies (almost certainly from the Co Op), I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment. One colleague who thinks they visited England once, but it may have been Denmark, reckons they were called Twinkies. But that just makes me think it must've been Denmark as no red-braced, stripey shirted son-of-Maggie marketing whizz bang would've come up with anything quite so silly.
Here's hoping you can help.
Mark & Mandy
|Nicey replies: Mark,
Thank you for that lovely description of morning tea and the mention of Lamingtons.
The name you seek is simply 'Teacake'. I admit that's not a terribly accurate or descriptive name given their splendour. Also there are flattish currant laden buns that also lay claim to that name.
Here is a picture of some that I took to reveal their inner workings. Burton's I believe, but Lee's a Scottish bakers perhaps make better ones. These have the gelatine based spongey marshmallow and can be safely injected with jam as seen here. The mighty Tunnocks teacake has egg white based mallow which is basically uncooked meringue, and shirks any mauling around with jam.
Closer to you in Tasmania, I'm sure Kiwi bakers Griffins produce Teacakes.
|I've just stumbled across your website whilst searching for the elusive Lincoln biscuit that I miss so much but the reason behind this e-mail is to inform you of the stunning biscuit by Fox's called Malted Milk Creams. They are what the title says, two malted milk biscuits (cow, grass and all) sandwiched together by a nice layer of cream. They are so fantastic and unfortunately quite hard to find. I can only seem to get them every now and then in my local Morrsions and as far as Lincoln biscuits go I can't get them anywhere! Have they stopped doing the Lincoln biscuits?|
|Nicey replies: Yes the noble Lincolns are on their way out, although still listed on McVities web site as current product. It was announced last year that they would be discontinued in Spring 2007.
The demise of the Lincoln can be attributed to the River Eden in Cumbria, and Tescos and the others. The river burst its banks back in January 2005 and flooded United Biscuits historic factory in Carlisle causing biscuit manufacturing havoc. Many biscuits suffered including the Gingernut, Bourbon and Morning Coffee. It wasn't clear for a long time if the factory would actually fully repoen, or whether UB would take this as an opportunity to relocate.
By the time the Lincoln was back in production many large supermarkets had assumed it had gone for good and taken it out of their scheme of things. This is the kiss of death it would seem for most UB biscuits, which seem unable to survive unless they are serving a huge market place. Having said that we stopped close to Carlisle on our way to Ireland a few weeks back and in a local Spar bought a pack of Crawfords Fig Rolls. I have never seen these in a major UK supermarket and yet UB manage to keep making them without the patronage of Mr Tesco.
As for your cream filled Malted Milks they sound very useful. Fox's acquired Elkes biscuits in Uttoxeter some years ago who seem to specialise in Malted Milks and Custard Creams so I wouldn't mind betting they emanate from there.
Naturally Fox's Review
|I've been becoming increasingly concerned about the growth in the use of palm oil in food which often comes from deforested areas of east asia, and constituting the biggest single cause of destruction of the orang utan's habitat. |
There is no requirement to label oil as palm oil so it usually appears as vegetable oil on the ingredients list. We all know butter makes a better biscuit than any hydrogenated vegetable oil substitute but it also saves orang utans and rainforests which we all like.
|Nicey replies: Yes we raised just that point in our review of Naturally Fox's biscuits which use only butter. Of course, methane gas, a by product of dairy framing can't be overlooked either as it is apparently about 20 times as potent as CO2 in its greenhouse effect.
Still there are lots of interesting things happening in the area of dairy farming such as this methane powered farm
Having just come back from a holiday on a farm in Northern Ireland surrounded by fields of cows this would be a great if some agricultural company could start outfitting farms with this.
Just to update you and any of your NY readers who might be craving the mighty Digestive...
I did find another place that not only had Digestives, Jaffa Cakes, and Birds Custard (in tins and powder form), but also tins of rhubarb and a goodly selection of fresh English sausages. So you're catered for through the whole meal!
Myers of Keswick is the place, and is at 634 Hudson St, NY 10014.
Yes it's a shade pricey, but after a drought of Digestives for the last months, it was worth the extra few bucks.
|Nicey replies: Thanks Neil,
Yes that place looks like a life saver, thanks for passing it on.
Tregroes Toffee Waffles Review
Firstly, thanks for one of the most interesting and necessary websites I know of. It is often checked and much respected.
I am familiar with the Tregroes Waffles, I have enjoyed the regular and chocolate covered varieties, when I could get them from my local Deli in Brighton, UK. Then I was lucky enough to find caramel waffles at Starbucks, which are made by the same company, and delicious. At Christmas a chocolate covered variety and miniature pack are also available in Starbucks' stores.
I now live in Amsterdam, and as mentioned in some of the previous comments, this style of waffle is traditional here. At the local market you can see them being made and buy them warm, much in the way you might buy doughnuts at a market in the UK. They are also sold in supermarkets, as large waffles, organic large waffles or mini ones, which are very cute. They are called stroopwaffles in Dutch, literally syrupwaffles. And they are very good value, a bag of 10 large waffles may cost EUR1.99, at current exchange rates that's not so bad, is it? I try not to eat them too often, as they do tend to slip down a little too easily....
Thanks for letting me share my waffle experiences.....
A biscuit hungry, tea drinking slightly homesick expat.
|Nicey replies: I once visited that part of Holland and due to bad planning and youthful exuberance found myself sampling mostly raw herrings with bits of onion on them in the markets, rather than stroopwaffels.